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Forestry Conservation Operative







The Royal Forestry Society (RFS) is the longest established and largest education charity in the forestry sector. Our mission is to inspire passion and excellence in woodland management. 

Thanks to the support of the ALA Green Trust, the RFS in partnership with corporate industry members is proud to offer this exciting role. Designed to help facilitate college leavers into meaningful forestry employment, specifically into areas outlined in the “2017 Forestry skills survey” that have a recognized skills and personnel shortage. They will provide the successful applicant an excellent first step to a successful forestry career.


The RFS is inviting applications for the post of “Woodland Conservation Operative”.

This post has been created to aid the FE leaver in the transition from FE education into the professional workplace.
 You must be leaving FE education this year or last year and have completed a level 2 or 3 in Forestry, Arboriculture, or Countryside Management.
The employee will receive specialist training and CPD opportunities to assist and fast-track the development of the skillsets required to become a Woodland Conservation Operative over the course of a one-year role. The successful applicant will have access to 20 days a year paid for CPD during which time they will be expected to reach the required level for their RFS Certification in Forestry.

Job title:


Woodland Conservation Operative




Heart of England Forest, Warwickshire


Responsible to:

Stephen Coffey - Head Forester HOEF
Adam Todd - Royal Forestry Society



Main purpose of the job:


This training role is ideal for a budding forester wishing to develop a wide range of practical forestry skills, experience and competencies for career progression, his is a unique role suited to someone with a keen interest in broadleaf woodlands and conservation. the successful candidate will have an opportunity to grow and shape England’s largest new native broadleaf woodland, whilst gaining practical experience on the job.

Main responsibilities:



With the support of the forestry team, the range of tasks involved in the role include:

Practical forest work


  • Tree planting
  • Forest establishment and maintenance work, including shelter maintenance, weeding, loss assessment, tree guard removal, etc.
  • Daily maintenance of footpaths.
  • Emptying car park bins and dog bins.
  • Designing new walking routes and way-marking.
  • Tractor driving and use of machinery including mowing forest rides, hay making and hedge cutting.
  • Mowing footpaths.
  • General forest maintenance work in mature woodland.
  • Biodiversity surveys.
  • Habitat creation, maintenance and monitoring.
  • Undertaking tree tagging and mapping tree locations.
  • Maintaining and improving public access within the forest, which includes inspections of access areas, reporting health and safety issues, and resolving problems under own initiative.




  • You may be required to travel to sites that are often in remote locations and so a full driving license is essential.
  • Occasional lone working may be required, you must be comfortable with this and comply with the employer’s lone working policy.
  • Depending on your location, staying away from home may also be required, this will be down to the employer and yourself to agree.
  • You must hold a level 2 or level 3 qualification in either Forestry, Arboriculture or Countryside Management and be either finishing the course this year, or last year.



Personal attributes:

  • Demonstrate the RFS core values of professionalism, willingness to learn and good manners demonstrated through good behaviour to colleagues and stakeholders.
  • Enjoy the outdoor working lifestyle
  • Responsible and able to keep to time frames.
  • Hard working
  • Ability to cultivate and maintain strong working relationships both internally with team members and/or management
  • Willingness to learn on the role from senior team members and management


Previous experience:


Candidates must have recently completed a recognised level 2 or 3 course in Forestry, Arboriculture or Countryside Management. They should not have previous permanent employment in the forestry sector.



Terms and conditions

  • This is a 12 month fixed term contract of x hours a week. The salary is £15,500 pa paid monthly in arrears by the employer.
  • Leave days and Bank Holidays will be negotiated between employer and employee.
  • Enrolment in a work-place pension scheme
  • Eligibility is limited to those persons leaving (2018) or recently left (2017) full time college (FE) education, studying towards a level 2 or 3 Forestry, Arboriculture or Countryside Management qualification
  • Regular progress reviews with the RFS and employer
  • Up to 20 days paid release to attend CPD training agreed with and paid for by the employer and the RFS
  • The position is subject to satisfactory references, evidence of the right to work in the UK, other pre-employment checks as required and a contract of employment.
  • No housing or subsistence allowance is included.


Application process:

To apply please send your CV and a covering letter explaining


  • Why you are interested in this position
  • How your skills and experience fit the requirements of the role,
  • The names and contact details of two referees by email or post to:


Adam Todd, Future Foresters Project Officer, Royal Forestry Society

The Hay Barns, Home Farm Drive, Upton Estate, Banbury, OX15 6HU



The deadline for applications is: Midnight on Friday 1st June. Short listed candidates will be invited to interview on Wednesday 13th June.